Hello, my lovelies! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thanks again for all the comments on my last post. When composing that post, I was pretty sure there would only be cricket noises in response, since it had been so long. So, thank you again for the warm welcome back and for generally being the most lovely people on the internet.
Up on the blog today is one of my more recent creations. Despite instantly loving both the Lily and Hazel patterns, when Colette released them last year, I hadn't yet attempted either one. Non-traditional bodice constructions kind of terrify me, given the vast discrepancy between my high bust and bust measurements. Sure, the whole of the internet said Hazel was easy to fit, but it had lines across the girls! And a pointy thing that had to line up! Add to that a slim-line skirt and it meant that Hazel was destined to languish.
What finally changed my mind were the two full-skirted versions that popped up in my feed, from Roisin and Tasia, which were adorable. Where the original Hazel is super cute, the poofy, froofy larger skirted one is a platonic Mary dress. I wanted that dress. I needed that dress!
So, I made it.
Okay, to be fair, first I made a muslin. There were those pointy bits to contend with, after all. When plotting how attack the "That's totally not going to fit these massive chest bunnies!" problem, there seemed to be two ways to go about it: grading from size to size or doing a FBA a la the brilliant Symon. I decided to grade, from a 14 to an 18 to a 14, and see how it went. If it failed, the FBA would be my backup.
It worked! I loved the muslin bodice. It took some nipping in here-and-there, but it was a fairly straightforward fitting job. So, I cut out some lovely, stretchy plum twill and blithely sewed along.
It was about the time I'd decided to try on the new bodice that I remembered that word stretchy. All the lovely fitting changes I'd made to the muslin didn't translate quite as well to the real dress. I tried it on for Dr. Sam and he gently suggested it might be gaping all over and totally, freaking gigantic.
So, I took it in.
In the end, I omitted the zipper altogether to make up for the fabric. I took the back in by over four inches and the sides by two each. For the skirt, I added eight inches of width and gathered accordingly. The dirndl skirt really suits the bodice style and makes it a swishy delight of a day dress.
The best part of this story is, of course, that once I washed and dried it a couple of times, the bodice shrunk. See that big horizontal line right below my bust? Totally not there two weeks ago! Apparently, pre-treating this fabric once wasn't enough, I should have washed it eight times instead.
Ah, well. I still love it a lot. It has pockets, it's super comfortable, and it totally fills any need I had to wear weird, pieced bodice shapes. Woohoo! It's not all darts and tucks for us, kittens!
It's not a birthday, unless your dress and your drink match!
As for Hazel, I've already whipped up a cute floral version to be blogged very soon and am plotting a few that work for fall. Now that I've realized how obvious just changing the darn skirt was, this pattern is quickly becoming a new favorite. I'm sure you've made it already, as I am quite the late comer here, but it's worth a try if you haven't.